James Heinzen, “The Art of the Bribe: Corruption Under Stalin, 1943-1953” (Yale UP, 2016)
The Soviet Union under Stalin was very repressive. You could get sent to a GULAG (if not shot) for casually telling an “anti-Soviet” joke or pilfering ubiquitous “state property.” But, as James Heinzen points out in his excellent book The Read More
William D. Prigge, “Bearslayers: The Rise and Fall of the Latvian National Communists” (Peter Lang, 2015)
In 1959, approximately 2,000 members of the the Latvian Communist Party were purged for “nationalist tendencies.” However, the causes of their rise and their fall reached all the way to the Soviet Politburo in Moscow. William Prigge analyzes how “nationalist”… Read More
Edward Westermann, “Hitler’s Ostkrieg and the Indian Wars:  Comparing Genocide and Conquest” (U. Oklahoma Press, 2016)
The intersection of colonialism and mass atrocities is one of the most exciting insights of the past years of genocide studies. But most people don’t really think of the Soviet Union and the American west as colonial spaces. But while… Read More
Ferenc Laczo, “Hungarian Jews in the Age of Genocide:  An Intellectual History, 1929-1948” (Brill, 2016)
For non-specialists, the Holocaust in Hungary is a history both familiar and murky. Many Americans have read memoirs like Elie Wiesel’s Night and Judith Magyar Isaacson’s Seeds of Sarah in high school or college and have some sense of their… Read More
Piotr Kosicki, “Vatican II Behind the Iron Curtain” (Catholic Univ. of America Press, 2016)
Many historians have documented the Second Vatican Council yet virtually no attention has been devoted to the Catholics who found themselves living behind an iron curtain at the end of the 1940s. Piotr Kosicki’s edited volume, Vatican II Behind the Read More
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